By Todd Fertig

The Cair Paravel Latin girls soccer team took a big first step toward a return to the Class 4-1A state tournament by beating Eudora 4-0 Thursday at Bettis Sports Complex to claim a regional championship. 

ZahraFriessEudora2Cair Paravel sophomore Zahra Friess (3) is congratulated by teammates Trinity Childs (12) and Hemi Duehring (18) after scorinng the first goal in Thursday's 4-0 regional win over Eudora. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

KatherineKeysEudoraCair Paravel junior Katherine Keys scored a goal for the Lions in Thursday's 4-0 Class 4A-1A regional win over Eudora. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

CPLSsoccerEudoraCair Paravel soccer poses for a team pictue after Thursday's Class 4A-1A regional win over Eudora. [Photo by Todd Fertig/TSN]

Awarded a bye for compiling the best record in the 4-1A East regional, the Lions had to win just one game to advance to next week’s quarterfinals. The Lions took down the Cardinals with quick striking offense and a solid defensive effort. 

“We maybe started off a little slower than I would like,” Cair Paravel coach Doug Woolery said “Maybe (Eudora) was playing tough and made us look slower. But once we hit a groove, we started combining more. I thought we played better with possession and passing and movement in the second half.” 

Sophomore Zahra Friess broke the ice at the 23:11 mark of the first half, scoring off a long pass. Then it was freshman KellyAnn Chada who contributed on the Lions’ three remaining goals. She recorded two assists on centering passes from the right wing in the first half. Midway through the second half she weaved through the Cardinal defense for an insurance goal. 

“She could probably play anywhere on the field,” Woolery said of Chada. “She really helps us out on the wing. She’s got such great ball control, the ability to either take the shot or cross the ball in. She’s continually improving and seeking to improve.” 

Chada is an additional weapon to the team that advanced to the 4-1A state tournament last year, the smallest school in the state to do so. She credited her teammates for helping prepare her for the moment. 

“They’re really helpful and kind of coach me. They’re really encouraging,” Chada said. “It’s really exciting for me to have my first chance to go to state after what they experienced last year.” 

The Lions’ defense, led by sophomore goalkeeper Sawyer Schwartz, notched its 13th shutout in 17 games. Schwartz said she is benefitting from the experience of last year’s deep playoff run, as well as the support of the defenders in front of her. 

“I love my defense,” Schwartz said. “They’re counting on me and it’s my responsibility to defend the goal, but I couldn’t do it without them. 

“It’s an inspiration to have a chance to go back (to the Final Four). Playing with my sister (Sage Schwartz) in her senior year, it’s fun experiencing this with her. I love making memories with my teammates.” 

As 2A Cair Paravel continues to knock off larger schools, it has developed a taste for bigger things. But Woolery said a regional championship shouldn’t be overlooked. 

“This is a great accomplishment. I want the girls to enjoy this,” Woolery said. “This is big, but we’ve got another one to get to the state tournament. I want to prepare us for the next game so we can represent Cair Paravel the best we can. 

“I was not unhappy with the way our girls played, but I think we need to bring it up a notch for the next game, whoever we play.''

Woolery admitted that the reseeding done for the quarterfinals will be impactful. Looming over the field is Bishop Miege, winner of every 4-1A state championship since 2016. Depending on the reseeding, the Lions may have to face the defending champs in the quarterfinal round. 

Regardless of the draw, the Lions will host the quarterfinal game on May 23. 

“I’d like to see Miege in the (Final Four),” Woolery said. “It’s not that I’m afraid to play them. I think we can compete with them. I just think it would be a great game in the state tournament. I’m not putting the cart before the horse. Whoever is on the other side of the pitch, we have to play them.” 


Eudora (8-10-0)          0 0 — 0  

Cair Paravel (14-1-1) 3 1 — 4 

Cair Paravel — Goals: Friess, Sage Schwartz, Keys, Chada. Assists: Chada 2, Ignoto, Barker. Shutout: Sawyer Schwartz. 

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